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Conversations About Gambling

"Conversations about Gambling" has been broadcast on WUFO 1080 AM, from Buffalo, NY, 12:30-1:00 pm, every Monday since April 4, 2010. Its purpose is to educate and inform the community, and to encourage conversation on the subject of gambling, which has often been ignored, misunderstood, or blindly accepted - despite its increasing impact on the economic and social health of our communities. Our website, conversationsaboutgambling.org, provides basic information and links to related websites. We have interviewed guests with experience and/or expertise in a number of areas. They have included:
  • Judge Mark Farrell (founder of Gambling Treatment Court),
  • Robert Schulman (a pediatrician who has worked with teen gambling problems),
  • Sandra Adell (professor of African-American Studies, U. of WI/Madison, author of CONFESSIONS OF A SLOT MACHINE QUEEN: A MEMOIR)
  • James David Audlin (Distant Eagle) and Doug George Kanentiio (Native American opponents of casino gambling),
  • Les Bernal and Tom Grey (officers of the national anti-gambling organization, Stop Predatory Gambling)
  • Joel Rose and Mary Bartley (current and former co-Chairs of CACGEC)
  • Charlotte Wellins (educator and gambling recovery expert)
  • A number of recovering compulsive gamblers and family members, participants in GA and Gam-Anon, who discuss their experiences with addiction and recovery.
We have also had some strictly call-in programs, and have received a number of calls from community members, with various concerns about gambling.

SHOW DETAILS
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Conversations About Gambling
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11/22/10. Our guest in the studio today was Marsha McWilson, a singer, minister and inspirational speaker, and licensed beautician from Niagara Falls. She has a program on WUFO immediately after ours and has often listened to Conversations about Gambling beforehand. Sheâs been particularly concerned herself about the widespread acceptance of gambling within the faith community. She knows people who have prayed to win the lottery or win at the casino, and have then given credit to the power of...
Topics: Marsha McWilson, gambling in the faith community
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8/2/11 and 8/9/11. On August 2 and August 9, our guests are the candidates in the upcoming election for County Executive of Erie County, NY: the current County Executive Chris Collins (R), and the current County Comptroller Mark Poloncarz (D). On these dates, we combine Conversations About Gambling with the preceding program, The Public Good, hosted by Sam Magavern (Tuesday 1:00-1:30pm), so each candidate has a full hour (1:00-2:00pm) to present his views on such issues as poverty, racism,...
Topic: Erie County Executive
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5/31/10 (Memorial Day) Robert Schulman, M.D. Interview with a pediatrician who is an expert in dealing with problem and compulsive gambling among young people. He discussed the signs and symptoms of problem gambling, its effects, and how to get help or treatment.
Topics: Conversations About Gambling, Robert Schulman MD 5/31/10
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7/26/11. Interview with Arelia Taveras, who discusses her Dominican Republic background, her early successes as an attorney, the pressures and stresses that led her to casino gambling and the development of addiction to gambling. Her mishandling of client funds to support her gambling habit ultimately led to incarceration. Now released, she has devoted herself to exposing and fighting the predatory practices of casinos, which directly encourage and exploit the addiction of their customers.
Topics: Arelia Taveras, casino gambling, predatory gambling, gambling addiction
Conversations About Gambling
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7/12/11. Interview with Dan Hajdo, Board Member for Casino-Free Philadelphia. Dan talked about the history of Casino-Free Philadelphia, which began in 2006 in response to state authorization of slot machine gambling (2004) and the announcement of 2 casino sites planned for the Philadelphia area (2006). All decisions about the casinos had been made behind closed doors, with no public participation or input. This new group began “Operation Transparency” and challenged the Pennsylvania Gaming...
Topics: gambling, Casino Free Philadelphia, Dan Hajdo
Conversations About Gambling
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On August 2 and August 9, 2011, our guests are the candidates in the upcoming election for County Executive of Erie County, NY: the current County Executive Chris Collins (R), and the current County Comptroller Mark Poloncarz (D). On these dates, we combine Conversations About Gambling with the preceding program, The Public Good, hosted by Sam Magavern (Tuesday 1:00-1:30pm), so each candidate has a full hour (1:00-2:00pm) to present his views on issues of poverty, racism, education, cultural...
Topics: Mark Poloncarz, Erie County Comptroller, Erie County Executive candidate
Conversations About Gambling
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An interview with Marilyn Lancelot, author of Gripped by Gambling and more recently Switching Addictions. She talked with us about her own history of gambling addiction, imprisonment for embezzlement of money (to support her gambling habit), her long process of recovery and her work helping others (particularly women) with recovery from addiction.
Topics: Marilyn Lancelot, Gripped by Gambling, gambling addiction, recovery from addiction
Conversations About Gambling
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6/7/11. Call-in show. Host Jim Anderson talks with a radio listener who has listened regularly to this program and âbeen educated by it.â The listener supports the rights of Native Americans to regain their land, but wishes they would use it for something educational, rather than a casino. He opposes the predatory gambling industries, including the lottery, and discusses with Jim the many ways people are lulled and seduced into gamblingâciting at one point the song, itâs âsuch an easy...
Topics: gambling, predatory gambling
Conversations About Gambling
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5/26/10 â Sandra Adell. Interview with the author of the recently published Confessions of a Slot Machine Queen: A Memoir. A professor of Afro-American Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr. Adell spoke about her own experience with addiction to casino slot-machine gambling, and her subsequent research into the devastating effects of casinos on her native Detroit and other communities.
Topics: gambling, gambling addiction, Sandra Adell, Memoirs of a Slot Machine Queen
Conversations About Gambling
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12/27/10. An interview with Denise Phillips, a psychotherapist and substance abuse professional working with Gambling Solutions and Counseling Services of Michigan. She is one of eight Nationally Certified Gambling Counselors in the state of Michigan. Denise spoke about her own personal experience with gambling, which has fueled her commitment to the prevention and treatment of gambling addiction.
Topics: conversations, gambling, Denise Phillips, addiction, counseling
Conversations About Gambling
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4/4/11. A program focusing on Gam-Anon, with gambling recovery expert "Elizabeth." A dramatic scene between mother and daughter (read by Alicia Banner, of the African-American Cultural Center, and Anna Kay France) initiates discussion of the issues facing friends and family of addicted gamblers, and the role Gam-Anon can play in helping them. Contact phone numbers: for Gam-Anon, 716-254-4941, and Gamblers Anonymous (GA), 888-GA HELPS (888-424-3577).
Topics: gambling addiction, Gam-Anon, GA, Alicia Banner
Conversations About Gambling
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5/24/11. Steven Siegel. Professor Steven Siegel, who teaches Hospitality and Tourism Management at Niagara University, had spoken with us earlier (3/14/11) about the impact of casino gambling on the economy of Western NY, especially hotels, restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues. (See http://NoCasinoErie.org/SiegelOnCasinoEconomicEffect2011.pdf ) Professor Siegel focuses in this program on the way the casino stacks the odds against the customer, setting machines so that the more customers...
Topics: Steven Siegel, casino gambling, gambling odds
Conversations About Gambling
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4/11/11. Mary Sojourner. A return interview with Mary Sojourner, NPR commentator and author of She Bets Her Life and numerous other books, including Going through Ghosts Mary talks about the way the gambling industry encourages addiction through every aspect of the design of slot machines, the "crack cocaine" of gambling. She discusses her own experience of the damaging effects of addiction and the difficult process of recovery. She emphasizes also the importance of group support and...
Topics: gambling, gambling addiction, Mary Sojourner, She Bets Her Life
Conversations About Gambling
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A second interview with Dr. Sandra Adell, Professor of Afro-American Studies, University of Wisconsin: Madison, and author of Confessions of a Slot Machine Queen: A Memoir. Today we spoke with her about her more recent efforts to raise awareness, particularly in the African-American community, about the nature and the dangers of gambling addiction.
Topics: Sandra Adell, gambling, Memoirs of a Slot Machine Queen, Detroit
Conversations About Gambling
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Interview with Robert McGuigan, whose 28-year-old son was murdered, along with two roommates, in a dispute over gambling. The young man charged with the murder committed suicide as well, so gambling was the cause of the unnecessary deaths of 4 young men. McGuigan introduced his son as a young boy to small stakes gambling in card and dice games. Like so many parents who introduced their children to âinnocentâ gambling games, he thought this was âjust fun.â But within a few years the son was...
Topics: gambling addiction, youth gambling, Robert McGuigan
Conversations About Gambling
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1/25/11. Interview with Mary Sojourner, NPR commentator and author of She Bets Her Life and numerous other books. Mary spoke about her own experience with gambling addiction and recovery. She emphasized that women are particularly vulnerable to slot machine gamblingâto the appeal of escaping into âthe zone,â momentarily escaping the stresses and demands of their lives. She discussed the way todayâs slot machines are designed to hook the player through their increased speed of play and their...
Topics: Mary Sojourner, gambling addiction and recovery, She Bets Her Life
Conversations About Gambling
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An interview with Dr. Deborah Haskins, Department of Psychology, Loyola University in Marylandâa specialist in treating gambling addiction and training other gambling addiction counselors. She pointed out that many people donât yet recognize that gambling addiction is as real, dangerous, and challenging to treat as drug addiction or any form of substance abuse, and she spoke of the urgent need for better education on gambling and gambling addiction.
Topics: Deborah Haskins, gambling addiction counseling, gambling and faith communities
Conversations About Gambling
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A return interview with Robert McGuigan. McGuigan spoke of the involvement with gambling which led to the murder of his 28-year-old son and the deaths of three other young men. (See previous interview on 6/14/10). He talked about the way gambling within the family teaches and encourages young people to gamble. He is particularly concerned because young people, 12-18 years old, are 2-3 more likely to become addicted to gambling than adults are. In McGuigan’s home state of Wisconsin, about...
Topics: Robert McGuigan, gambling addiction, youth gambling, internet gambling
Conversations About Gambling
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A second interview with Judge Mark G. Farrell (founder of the world's first Gambling Treatment Court) focusing on his recent trip to Vienna, Austria, where he delivered a keynote address before the 8th European Conference on Gambling Studies and Policy Issues. Judge Farrell has found that gambling addiction, like alcoholism and drug addiction, needs to be recognized as a serious illness. When, as often happens, the compulsive gambler turns to crime to continue gambling, courts can provide...
Topics: Mark G. Farrell, Gambling Treatment Court, 8th European Conference on Gambling Studies and Policy...
Conversations About Gambling
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3/21/11. Sam Magavern. Interview with Sam Magavern, a writer and public interest lawyer, currently serving as co-director of the Partnership for the Public Good in WNY. He teaches at the University at Buffalo Law School and has recently co-authored a study of the effect of the Buffalo Creek Casino on poverty, which can be found at: http://NoCasinoErie.org/Poverty-and-Casino-Gambling.pdf
Topics: Sam Magavern, Partnership for the Public Good, PPG, casino gambling and poverty
Conversations About Gambling
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7/5/11. Call-in program. Jim Anderson and Anna Kay France talk with callers from the radio audience. One questions how Sam Hoytâs appointment last week as an economic advisor to NY Governor Cuomo may allow him to influence state policy on gambling. Another speaks of her own experience with gambling and her conversations with residents of other states that have legalized gambling. She is directly aware of a wide range of problems caused by gambling: suicides, homicides, impoverishment. She has...
Topics: gambling, casino gambling
Conversations About Gambling
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4/18/11. Thomas Grey. Return interview with Tom Grey, Senior Advisor for the national organization, Stop Predatory Gambling. Tom has had over 20 years experience with organizing opposition to gambling across the country, at the local, state, and national levels. He states that his job has grown easier as evidence has mounted of the damage done by casinos and other forms of predatory gambling. People are growing aware that the gambling industries âhavenât been able to deliver on their promises...
Topics: gambling, Thomas Grey, Stop Predatory Gambling
Conversations About Gambling
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6/28/11. Interview with NY State Assemblyman Sam Hoyt. (NB: the first few minutes of phone interview with Mr. Hoyt are very faint.) Hoyt has long opposed gambling expansion in WNY. His concerns are driven by economics rather than moral disapproval of gambling. Extensive research has convinced him that, despite the hype and extravagant claims of casino promoters, urban casinos actually have a detrimental economic effect on communities. Studies have demonstrated that, unless 70% of the visitors...
Topics: gambling, casino gambling, Sam Hoyt
Conversations About Gambling
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4/25/11. Michael LoCurto and Alan Oberst. Michael LoCurto has been a member of the Buffalo Common Council for the Delaware District since 2006. He holds a Masters degree in Urban and Regional Planning, and he has long opposed the development of the downtown casino in Buffalo. Alan Oberst is a free-lance writer for Buffalo Rising, currently working on an article on the Buffalo casino. Councilman LoCurto discussed his initial (and continuing) opposition to the casino in Buffalo. Despite the...
Topics: gambling, Michael LoCurto, Alan Oberst
Conversations About Gambling
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6/21/11. WNY performers Verneice Turner and Marsha McWilson join Anna Kay France in reading scenes from a play-in-progress: A group of church ladies are arguing over plans to organize a trip to the casino. Jim Anderson joins the others for a lively discussion about the issues raised, the danger of regarding gambling simply as âfunâ and a means of fund-raising, without regard for its damaging consequences.
Topics: gambling, casino gambling, gambling and churches, Verneice Turner, Marsha McWilson, Anna Kay France
Conversations About Gambling
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5/2/11. Maria Whyte. Interview with Maria Whyte, Erie County Legislator for the 6th District (west side of Buffalo), currently the Democratic Majority leader in the County Legislature. She is a plaintiff in the CACGEC lawsuit, which seek to close the gambling casino in downtown Buffalo. Legislator Whyte explains her opposition to the casino as a social justice issue. She points out that the Buffalo casino is a âlocals-basedâ casino. It does not attract out-of-town tourists or bring in money...
Topics: casino gambling, gambling, Maria Whyte
Conversations About Gambling
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3/28/11. Les Bernal. Return interview with Les Bernal, Exective Director of the national anti-gambling organization Stop Predatory Gambling. (Previous interview on 6/28/10.) He discussed the case of Arelia Taveras, a successful lawyer, from immigrant Dominican background, who became addicted to casino gambling in Atlantic City. The casino owners encouraged and enabled her addiction. She lost a huge amount of money and eventually turned to embezzlement to fund her gambling habit, and is now...
Topics: Les Bernal, Stop Predatory Gambling, gambling industries, predatory gambling
Conversations About Gambling
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3/14/11. Steven Siegel. Interview with Professor Steven Siegel, who teaches Hospitality and Tourism Management at Niagara University. He has done several studies of the impact of casino gambling on the economy of Western New York. A recent study, presented to the Legislation Committee of the Buffalo Common Council, can be found at: http://NoCasinoErie.org/SiegelOnCasinoEconomicEffect2011.pdf
Topics: Steven Siegel, casino gambling, gambling and the economy
Conversations About Gambling
by Conversations About Gambling
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A conversation with Marsha McWilson, singer, minister, inspirational speaker, and licensed beautician from Niagara Fallsâand co-host of a program on WUFO immediately after Conversations about Gambling. She is particularly concerned about the widespread acceptance of gambling within the churches and the faith community in the Buffalo-Niagara Falls area. She discussed some of the instances she has witnessed herself, and we agreed that it was important for members of the faith community, both...
Topics: Marsha McWilson, gambling in the faith community
Conversations About Gambling
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5/17/11. Joel Rose. A return interview with Joel Rose, Co-Chair of Citizens Against Casino Gambling in Erie County (CACGEC) and Chair of the Coalition Against Gambling in NY (CAGNY). Joel spoke about the case of Arelia Taveras, who had risen from an immigrant background to become a successful NY lawyer. She grew involved in gambling in Atlantic City casinos and was eventually seriously addicted. She depleted her own resources and began to steal from her clients to continue gambling. Her losses...
Topics: Joel Rose, gambling, Arelia Taveras, CACGEC, CAGNY
Conversations About Gambling
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2/21/11. Dr. Deborah Haskins. Return interview with Dr. Haskins, a specialist in treating gambling addiction and training gambling addiction counselors, Department of Psychology, Loyola University. Dr. Haskins spoke about the upcoming National Problem Gambling Awareness Week, March 6-12, 2011, sponsored by the National Council on Problem Gambling. (See www.nyproblemgambling.org and www.npgaw.org) She emphasized the need for education about the nature of problem gambling, especially as gambling...
Topics: Deborah Haskins, gambling addiction counseling, gambling and faith communities
Conversations About Gambling
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5/31/11. Rev. Bruce McKay. Interview with Rev. Bruce McKay, founding president of VOICE-Buffalo, and pastor of Pilgrim-St. Lukeâs United Church of Christ. We talked with Rev. McKay about the history and purpose of VOICE-Buffalo, and the organizationâs longstanding opposition to casino gambling in Buffalo, NY. VOICE-Buffalo is a faith-based community organization, with member congregations of various faiths throughout Buffalo and Erie County. It is now celebrating 15 years of active leadership...
Topics: Rev. Bruce McKay, VOICE-Buffalo, casino gambling
Conversations About Gambling
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Anna Kay France reads the first part of a short story about a 16-year-old girl who makes her way into the casino using a fake ID, and gets into trouble with gambling. The rest of the story will follow next week.
Topics: Anna Kay France, casino gambling, youth gambling
Conversations About Gambling
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3/7/11. Anna Kay France completes the reading of her short story.
Topics: Anna Kay France, casino gambling, youth gambling
Conversations About Gambling
by Conversations About Gambling
11
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Interview with Tom Grey, Field Director and National Spokesperson of Stop Predatory Gambling. Tom Grey spoke from decades of experience spent studying and observing gambling and its effects throughout this country. He observed that gambling industries never live up to their promised economic benefits, but instead have had devastating social and economic effects on the communities that bring them in.
Topics: gambling, Tom Grey, Stop Predatory Gambling
Conversations About Gambling
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Interview with Joel Rose, Co-Founder and Co-Chair of CACGEC (Citizens Against Casino Gambling in Erie County), and currently Chair of CAGNY (Coalition Against Gambling in NY). His research and work around the country have convinced him that, despite the glowing reports by casino supporters and pro-gambling politicians, a casino would have potentially disastrous economic and social consequences for our community. He has played a leading role in opposing the spread of casinos and (increasingly)...
Topics: Joel Rose, gambling, CACGEC, CAGNY